Maria Bailey resigns as chair of two more Oireachtas committees

Maria Bailey resigns as chair of two more Oireachtas committees

Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey has resigned as chair of two more Oireachtas committees - including one focussed specifically on ethical rules - in the wake of the swing-gate controversy.

Ms Bailey made the decision "in the interests of the smooth running" of the political groups due in part to the ongoing attention over her now scrapped legal action against the Dean Hotel.

In a letter to Oireachtas committee secretariat Charles Hearne last Friday, seen by the Irish Examiner, Ms Bailey said that due to recent events she is taking the decision to resign as chair of the members interest committee, which polices political conflicts of interest.

Maria Bailey resigns as chair of two more Oireachtas committees

She said that, as a result of this and her removal as housing committee chair last month, she is now no longer a committee chair and as such must also step down as chair of the working group of committee chairs.

"I now feel that in the interest of the smooth running of the select committee on members interest it would be best for me to resign as chair of the committee.

"Therefore, as I will no longer be a committee chairperson I would like to formally resign as chair of the working group of committee chairs," she wrote.

While Ms Bailey was paid €9,500 on top of her TD salary for her role as housing committee chair, neither of the members interest of working group committee positions came with any additional salary.

After two months of delays, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar released a damning statement against Ms Bailey in July and removed her as housing committee chair in response to a still unpublished internal Fine Gael review into her swing fall case.

While accepting Mr Varadkar's view, which included a reference to "numerous errors of judgement", Ms Bailey defended her decision to take the case by saying it was based on legal advice.

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